Ani is a Melbourne mum of two girls, founder of MumLife Australia and host of the fully immersive Beyond Birth event series. With a mission to help parents feel confident and capable, Ani has a special place in her heart for helping first time mums-to-be enjoy their experience of early motherhood.
What dreams do you have for your kids?
It sounds so cliche but I truly just want my girls to grow up believing that they can be and do whatever they want in life. And that whatever that may be, big or small, I will always be proud.
If you could go back to the day before you became a mum and tell yourself one thing, what would that be?
I wish I had challenged those people who told me that I could never be prepared for parenthood and sought out prenatal education that would have helped me begin my parenting journey with confidence and a more realistic expectation of parenthood.
What do you think the greatest opportunities are for mums in 2018? And the greatest challenges?
We are so fortunate that as modern mums we are no longer restricted to just a single mothers group. There are so many ways that as new mums we can make friends and feel less isolated, especially in those first 6 months.
But we no longer live in ‘villages’, and despite the abundance of information at our fingertips, we don’t receive the support we need in those crucial first months. And unfortunately traditional prenatal education has not caught up to this new era of modern motherhood where new mums are being discharged from hospital sometimes as early as 24 hours after having a baby.
What do you wish your kids knew about you as a woman?
As a mother of two girls, I feel a really big responsibility to teach my daughters about what it means to be a strong, confident woman. I hope that every time they see me standing in front of a mirror, that they see a woman proud of what her body can do. I hope that when they see me stand up for what I believe in, that they also remember the times that I’ve had the courage to say sorry for when I’m wrong.
If you had one extra hour in each day, how would you spend it?
I’d spend it doing things that re-energise me – reading a book, baking a cake, having a bath, enjoying a glass of wine. Well, that would be the plan anyway.
The reality is I’d probably spend the first 45 minutes tidying the house, washing dishes, doing another load of laundry. And then spend the remaining 15 minutes replying to messages and sitting on my phone!
If you could invite any 3 mothers, real or fictional, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?
Brene Brown’s life’s work is all about the power of vulnerability and wholehearted living. Can you even imagine the conversations you’d have with her at the dinner table? I’m a real no BS kind of girl, so she’d be my number one pick.
Beyonce because I’ve always been fascinated by her story, her marriage to Jay-Z and her Sasha Fierce alter-ego. I’d love to know – who is the real woman behind the ‘brand’?
And my bestie – because everything is always more fun when she’s around.
How have you nurtured your friendships/relationship since you had kids?
It’s been 4 years since I had my first child, and in that time, some friendships have flourished, whilst others have not survived. For me, friendship has become less about going out for drinks on a Saturday night, and more about a message at 1am to say ‘hang in there, you’re not alone’ or a home cooked meal left on the doorstep when times are tough. Sure, we might not see eachother as much as we once we did, but I can assure you that I’ll make your problems my own, so you don’t have to go through them alone!
What are the words you live by?
Kindness doesn’t cost a thing. There is nothing simpler in life than to be kind and, for me, kindness is everything.